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Approaches

Approaches in
in Studying
Studying
Literature
Literature
A Short Guide

The greatness of literature


cannot be determined solely by
literary standards; though we must
remember that whether it is
literature or not can be determined
only by literary standards.
T.S. Eliot

ARTISTRY
INTELLECTUAL VALUE
SUGGESTIVENESS
UNIVERSALITY
PERMANENCE
SPIRITUAL VALUE
STYLE

Typical
Typicalanalytical
analyticalapproaches
approaches

psychologi
cal

sociologic
moral formal
al
archetypal

Moral
Moral Approach
Approach
Though we may read literature
merely for pleasure, of entertainment
or of aesthetic enjoyment, this reading
never affects simply a sort of special
sense: it affects us as entire human
beings; it affects our moral and
religious existence.
T.S. Eliot

MORAL
MORAL
Our religion imposes
our ethics, our
judgment and criticism
of ourselves, and our
behavior towards our
fellow men.
The fiction that we
read affects our
behavior towards our
fellow men, affects our
patterns of ourselves.

Concerned with the


ends of literature as
affecting Man as it
takes its place in the
human forum of ideas
and attitudes.
Judged only according
to the moral code
accepted by each
generation, whether it
lives according to that
code or not.

Psychological
Psychological Approach
Approach
The key to understanding psychoanalytic
literary criticism is to recognize that literary
criticism is about books and psychoanalysis
is about minds. Therefore, the
psychoanalytic critic can only talk about the
minds associated with the book.
Norman N. Holland

Psychological
Psychological
A Study of Three Minds
Author - The
relationship between
author and his art.
Character - Fictional
characters are treated
as patients.
Audience - Readerresponse.

It argues that literary texts, like


dreams, express the secret
unconscious desires and
anxieties of the author, that a
literary work is a manifestation
of the author's own neuroses.
It concentrates on the symbols,
events, including the dialogues
that affect the character.
Follows reader-response
criticism

Sociological
Sociological Approach
Approach
Art is not created in a vacuum; it is a
work not simply of a person, but of an
author fixed in time and space,
answering to a community of which he
is important.
Wilbur Scott

Sociological
Sociological

The sociological critic


is interested in
understanding the
social milieu and the
extent to which and
manner in which the
artist responds to it.

The work of art must


be placed in its social
atmosphere and have
that relationship
defined.
It must also be noted
that literature is not
only the effect of
social causes, it is
also the cause of
social effects.
Harry Levin

Formalistic
Formalistic Approach
Approach
Nothing can permanently please
which does not contain in itself the
reason why it is so, and not
otherwise.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Formalistic
Formalistic
Allinformationessential
to theinterpretation
of a work
mustbefoundwithinth
e
workitself;there
isnoneed
tobringinoutside
informationabout the
history,politics,or
societyofthetime of
aboutthe
author'slife.

Analyzes the relation


between what the
work means and how
it conveys its
meaning.
Good work is one that
is interesting because
it conveys meaning in
an interesting way, an
intriguing way to say
the "same old thing."

Archetypal
Archetypal Approach
Approach
There are universal patterns of man,
whatever his time and place, which
enabled the poet to make
simultaneous parallels to and contrasts
with figures and situations in the
contemporary wasteland.
T.S. Eliot

Asserts the validity of


myth and its retention
in the social memory.
It does necessarily
not go back to
specific myths; it may
discover basic
cultural patterns
which assume a
mythic quality in their
permanence within a
particular culture.

Acts as a
demonstration of
some basic cultural
pattern of great
meaning and appeal
to humanity in a work
of art.

Athena

Sometimes the only way to find out which approach is best


is to find out the type of theme the literature tries to imply.

THATS
THATS ALL,
ALL, FOLKS!
FOLKS!